Skip to main content

tv   Wolf  CNN  June 16, 2017 10:00am-11:01am PDT

10:00 am
hello, i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. in washington. 6:00 p.m. in london. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. today mark the anniversary of a political announcement that changed the course of the united states. it was two years and two hours ago that the billionaire donald trump came down that aes escala with his wife to announce he was getting in the presidential race. the rest of course is history. history that is still being written and we're getting a new chapter today. looking at live pictures coming from from miami.
10:01 am
just a few minutes president trump is skcheduled to take the stage to layout his new plans for u.s. relations with cuba making changes to president obama's attempt to normalize rel rel relations with the island nation. this tweet, quote, i am being investigated for firing the fbi director by the man who told me to fire the fbi director. witch hunt. close quote. a white house source says the president was talking about deputy attorney general rod rosenstein who wrote a memo advocating the firing of director comey. he also named special counsel robert mueller to launch his own russia investigation. that investigation is clearly getting under the president's skin. he lobbed out this tweet as well today, quote, after seven months of investigations and committee hearings about my, quote, collusion with the russians, nobody has been able to show any
10:02 am
proof. sad. close quote. i want to bring in our senior white house correspondent jim acosta. he's traveling with the president in miami right now. jim, first of all, what are you hearing from white house officials? are they trying to explain these tweets? because both were very significant. >> absolutely, wolf. but, no i talked to a white house official earlier this morning and the words, before i even finished the question, the words coming out of the mouth of that white house official was please call marc kasowitz, the president's outside counsel. we talked to sources with the outside counsel earlier this morning who said that the president in those tweets was referring to "the washington post" story the other night that talked about the president being under investigation for obstruction of justice. and this source saying that story was based on, quote, illegal anonymous leaks. so the president's outside counsel still very much focused on what they believe is the real story here, that the president is being tarnished by leaking
10:03 am
coming out of the justice department and perhaps even outside the special counsel robert mueller's office. i can tell you in the last few minutes, myself and gloria borger, we have both confirmed that the president's personal attorney michael cohen, not marc kasowitz, but michael cohen who was of course a fixture during the campaign, key surrogate for then candidate trump, has hired his own personal outside counsel for dealing with the russia probe. that person goes by the name of steven ryan. you see in the president's inner circle and even his close associates outside the white house, a lot of people are lawyering up in this investigation. wolf, as you mentioned, the president's going to be out here in just a short couple of moments to talk about his new policy when it comes to cube bach cuba. he's going to be introduced my the vice president mike pence and marco rubio who traveled down to make this appearance here in little havana.
10:04 am
what we understand and the white house has essentially confirmed most of this is this is not a total rollback of the obama administration policy. the ambassadors are still going to say in havana. in washington people will still be able to travel from the united states to cuba to do cultural and religious missions. there will be restrictions on individual travel into cuba and the treasury department is going to be making sure that people are following the law when it comes to the embargo and doing pure tourist travel when they go down there but not a completely rever reversal of the policy. i was talking on a cuban american who said they're looking at this as the initial steps in terms of the president's pls when it comes to cuba, but make no mistake, president trump is keeping very much most of what president trump obama did in his reopening with cuba a couple of years ago. >> full normalized relations between the united states and cuba with bases in havana and
10:05 am
washington. ambassadors in both countries. that will all continue. jim acosta is on the scene for us in miami. a bunch of people will be introducing speaking before the president including governor scott, representative di diaz-balart and you pointed out marco rubio. the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein in charge of the russia investigation. rosenstein admits that he could be next because of his oel in t -- role in the firing of the fbi director. quote f the quote, if there comes a point where he needs to recuse he will. however, nothing has changed. joining us now hawaii democratic senator, which has oversight over the fbi. thanks so much for joining us. >> aloha. good to be here with you. >> aloha to you too. let me put the latest tweet from
10:06 am
the president up on the screen and we'll get your reaction. i am being investigated for firing the fbi director by the man who tooled me to fire the fbi director. witch hunt. what's your initial reaction when you see that latest tweet? >> i think it's, again, an example of the president taking no responsibility for anything he does. when somebody doesn't agree with him, he lashes out. and again, he's the one who fired comey. it wasn't rosenstein. and the memo that rosenstein wrote was the president said not the basis for his firing. and now he's saying that rosenstein is to blame. i think it's bizarre . it's the kind of behavior from the president that leads us to conclude that he just tweets random and in contradictory ways. this is not what we want from the president. but the investigation needs to continue. and mueller has put together from all our understanding a
10:07 am
really great team of people who mean business. they are not engaged in a witch hunt. these are professional people who are going to do the job to get to the bottom of the investigation. and trump teams, any kind of relationship or collusion that may have occurred there. >> earlier in the week, senator, rosenstein said that he wouldn't be -- he wouldn't fire the special counsel robert mueller but if rosenstein recuses himself could his replacement fire mueller? dianne feinstein, a colleaguef f yours said she is concerned that would happen. >> i hope that wouldn't happen because that would be another factor to engage in obstruction of justice. so i would think many times before i go down that path. because one of the reasons that rosenstein might become a witness is because he had something to do with the firing of comey and that's part of the
10:08 am
allegations relating to obstruction of justice. >> the trump transition team has been ordered to preserve memos as part of the entire russia investigation. what can you tell us about this, about this preservation of memos that you surprised this order didn't come earlier? >> well, i'm glad that it did come. i think that this investigation has been going on and anyone who wants to make sure that they are not caught up in an obstruction of justice kind of an investigation would know that documents should be preserved. but this makes it very official. >> the some counsel robert mueller who as you know spent 12 years as fbi the director met this week with the leaders of the senate intelligence committee. you used to be on that committee. has your judiciary committee heard from him as well to make sure there's no overlap, there's nothing that you guys do that can undermine his criminal investigation? >> we're certainly going to be
10:09 am
on the same page because we want the criminal investigation with mueller going forward and we also have oversight responsibilities in the judiciary committee, so we will make sure that there's not any kind of stepping on each other's foot going forward. i just want to add one more thing. the continuing efforts by the president to distract us from the russian investigation continuing to call it a witch hunt, lashing out at mueller now and lashing out at rod rosenstein is very distracting and i think that this may be one of the reasons that mitch mcconnell is so intent on pushing out the health care bill, the senate version of the health care bill while all this confusion and chaos is surrounding the russian investigation. and so this may be an time for him to push out a health care bill that will hurt millions and millions of seniors and will be very bad for so many -- for all of our communities, especially our real communities without any
10:10 am
hearings, with very little if any debate. >> but whatever emerges from the senate, you're not suggesting, are you, senator, that as far as health care legislation is concerned, what already passed the house of representatives can get through the september? it would be a very different kind of senate legislation, right? >> it wouldn't be a very different kind of senate bill. i don't know what they can do to make sure that 23 million people are not kicked off of health care. maybe they'll decrease that to 13 million. it's still bad. and they're still going to make maj major changes to medicaid and it will still have a huge tax break for the richest people in our country. >> do you think some of the more moderate republicans in the senate, remember the republicans only have a 52/48 majority. some of the more moderate republicans like susan collins or lisa murkowski among others will go along with that? >> i hope not. that is our hope. for people like susan collins,
10:11 am
lisa murkowski, a few others who really care about what's going to happen to the people in their own state and to rural hospitals in their state, i hope that they'll step forward and be very clear on what they will find acceptable in the senate version. >> senator, thanks as usual for joining us. >> thank you. >> let's get some reaction to all these developments from the republican side. republican congressman mark sanford is joining us live from south carolina. thanks so much for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> the president tweeted this today. i'll put it up on the screen one more time. i am being investigated for firing the fbi director by the man who told me to fire the fbi director. witch hunt. senator dianne feinstein has just released a blistering statement about the president's tweets in which she says among other things, quote, the message the president is sending through his tweets is that he believes the rule of law doesn't apply to him and that anyone who thinks otherwise will be fired. that's undemocratic on its face
10:12 am
and a violation of the president's oath of office. where do you stand on this? do you agree with senator feinstein? >> i wouldn't say that we're voting pals. i think we see the world a bit different lie. but what i'd say is what i've said consistently which is let the process work, whether that's from the standpoint of the special investigator, from the standpoint of the select committees in the house and senate doing their work. let them do their work. there is an accord that everybody wants to get to the bottom of. everybody wants to move on. it has proved to be a stumbling block in terms of the legislative agenda. i think it's vital we move things forward whether that's on tax reform, whether that's on the budget, a whole host of different issues that are facing this congress. let the process work. we have sort of breath less day-to-day reporting on this front. the process is at work. let's let it takes its course. >> there's nonstop tweeting
10:13 am
coming from n frin from the president. do you confidence in the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein? >> i do. i do. i don't know him well on a personal level, but i think he's a competent fellow. >> do you have confidence in the special counsel robert mueller? >> i do. i think he has awfully well regarded within washington and in national circles given what he did with the fbi. given a very solid track record, if you will, of accomplishing results and doing as he said he'd do. >> so when the president tweets that tweet, i am being investigated for firing the fbi director by the man who told me to fire the fbi director, witch hunt, he called this whole investigation that the special counsel, robert mueller, is now deeply engaged in the act -- the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein is deeply involved as well. he call its a witch hunt.
10:14 am
is that appropriate? >> i would say no. but what i was trying to beg off in the first go around is that i don't want to get into all that. i'm saying let the investigation take their toll. i don't want to respond to the latest tweet which is what we always get sucked into as members of the congress and press and i join you talk to about the cuba issue which i think is an awfully big issue. >> it certainly is. let's talk a little bit about the cuba issue. the president is expected to announce some new restrictions on travel and trade with cuba. you're one of several republicans against this kind of rollback i take it. tell our viewers why you disagree with the president. >> i have a bill that would allow americans to travel freely to cuba. one of my com patriots who i met with this week in washington has a bill that would allow ag experts to cuba.
10:15 am
another one has a bill in the full embargo of cuba. these are all republican measures. these are all republican bills. what we've seen is we've tried one approach for 50 years. it didn't work. we didn't bring down the castro regime. everybody wants the same objective which is how do you end communist role in dcuba. we've tried one approach and it hasn't worked. our approach, even ronald reagan was the one saying send a kid with a backpack to eastern europe, let's engage with the countries as a way of bringing them down. we believe that it's important we engage. if you flooded the place with american tourists, they would see an outside world the way they don't see it currently. too often by shutting down the spickets, the only person in pow are government figures as opposed to the rank and file who are out there really struggling at a very, very basic level.
10:16 am
>> he's not going to end severed diplomatic relations with cuba. he's going to continue to have full diplomatic relations. you strongly disagree. cnn has found that certain of the financial restrictions in the president's new cuba policy could adversely impact trump hotel competitors like marriott, sheridan who want to do business in cube bacha. you're a member of the house oversight committee. is this something you would consider looking into? >> yeah, i think all of it needs to be looked into. but there's a bigger premise we've got to get to which is what today's announcement is all about which is do we go forward or backward with regard to cuba policy. you just mention ed from the standpoint of travel, you or i could travel to any country on
10:17 am
the globe. it may not work out well. you go to syria, north korea. a whole lost of different hot spots around the world. there's not a federal government prohibition from us doing so. the only exception to that rule is cuba. as important as it is to help the 11 million people that i think are inchained in a system of government that doesn't work for them in cuba, this ultimately is an american issue about not only a farmer's ability to trade and sell his products to those consumers, but also about the american notion of liberty which we're not the soviet union. you don't have to have your travel fakers for the government to decide where you can and can't travel. we've always said you get to pick. this is about upholding an american liberty when there's not an overwhelming security reason to do otherwise to say that if an american wants to travel to havana or to beijing or to the soviet union, it ought to be their choice as opposed to being driven by government in
10:18 am
washington, d.c. >> to russia, you mean, not the soviet union. >> russia, correct. former soviet union. >> right. let's talk a little bit very quickly about what has changed since president obama opened up full diplomatic relations, opened up commerce travel, tourism with cuba. as far as the cuban people are concerned, congressman, has there been any improvement in their day-to-day lives? >> well, what's begun to happen is people that used to be allowed to have a little restaurant in their home and now those that have been expanded and you have a -- the start of what could be a middle class. airbnb was in the process of sitting up operations so the people could rent out their homes. that's money that actually goes to the individual and economic power ultimately yields and leads to political power. so things were beginning to happen that would empower people
10:19 am
to have more voice. they're simply struggling with s subsistance they're not going to have a lot of political voice. if they have basic needs meet, they may have more political voice. what's being proposed in cuba is at odds as what we propose with russia or china or vietnam or a whole host of other communists regimes around the country where they don't have the kind of human rights records that we would like to see but what we have believed is that by being engaged with those places we can bring about more change by isolating ourselves and isolating them. >> thanks as usual for joining us. >> yes, sir. pleasure. >> coming up, take a look at these live pictures coming from in miami. the president expected to speak any moment now. there's governor scott of florida. he among others introducing the president. will he address part of the speech his early morning twitter storm? we're going to have live coverage once the president starts talking. and this, was isis leader killed
10:20 am
in an air strike? why the u.s. might be one step closer to trying to verify that report. the russians are suggesting the answer is yes. we'll find out. "how to win at business." step one: point decisively with the arm of your glasses. abracadabra. the stage is yours. step two: choose la quinta. the only hotel where you can redeem loyalty points for a free night-instantly and win at business. so, your new prescription does have oh, like what?ects. ♪ you're gonna have dizziness, nausea, and sweaty eyelids. ♪ ♪ and in certain cases chronic flatulence. ♪ no ♪ sooooo gassy girl. so gassy. if you're boyz ii men, you make anything sound good. it's what you do. if you want to save 15% percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. it's what you do. next! ♪ next! a trip back to the dthe doctor's office, mean just for a shot. but why go back there, when you can stay home...
10:21 am
...with neulasta onpro? strong chemo can put you at risk of serious infection. neulasta helps reduce infection risk by boosting your white blood cell count, which strengthens your immune system. in a key study, neulasta reduced the risk of infection from 17% to 1%... ...a 94% decrease. applied the day of chemo, neulasta onpro is designed to deliver neulasta the next day. neulasta is for certain cancer patients receiving strong chemotherapy. do not take neulasta if you're allergic to neulasta or neupogen (filgrastim). ruptured spleen, sometimes fatal as well as serious lung problems, allergic reactions, kidney injuries, and capillary leak syndrome have occurred. report abdominal or shoulder tip pain, trouble breathing or allergic reactions to your doctor right away. in patients with sickle cell disorders, serious, sometimes fatal crises can occur. the most common side effect is bone and muscle ache. so why go back there? if you'd rather be home, ask your doctor about neulasta onpro.
10:22 am
so that's the idea. what do you think? hate to play devil's advocate but... i kind of feel like it's a game changer. i wouldn't go that far. are you there? he's probably on mute. yeah... gary won't like it. why? because he's gary. (phone ringing) what? keep going! yeah... (laughs) (voice on phone) it's not millennial enough. there are a lot of ways to say no. thank you so much. thank you! so we're doing it. yes! start saying yes to your company's best ideas. let us help with money and know-how, so you can get business done. american express open. and it's also a story mail aabout people so you can get business done. and while we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country, we never forget... that your business is our business the united states postal service. priority: you
10:23 am
z286oz zwtz y286oy ywty
10:24 am
the president trump in miami right now. there you see governor rick scott of florida. he's among those introducing the president at this event. we'll have live coverage once the president starts talking. but what should be a major event is clearly being overshadows by another announcement from the president today. the president confirming that he is being investigated for firing the former fbi director james comey. our panel is with us to discuss this as we await the president. our chief political analyst glor borger, retired admiral john kirby, cnn global affairs correspondent, leaelise labott. gloria caused quite a stir today, i am being investigated for firing the fbi director by the man who told me to fire the fbi director. witch hunt. he is confirming that he is now
10:25 am
under investigation. >> or that he's read that he's under investigation. it seems to me that he thinks he's under investigation one way or another. whether he's been told directly or not we don't know. what we also know now is that he blames the deputy attorney general for this, which has got a lot of people thinking instead of firing mueller, is he going to fire rod rosenstein? and come fact dianne feinstein today said quite directly i'm growing increasingly concerned the president's going to attempt to fire not only mueller, but rod rosenstein. he blames them very much for -- he blames rosenstein for the appointment of the special counsel mueller. he was also angry at jeff sessions about that if you'll recall. he didn't believe he should have recused himself from this investigation because he believed that sessions could have at least stopped a special counsel from being appointed. so clearly this is a president who believes that this law enforcement community has somehow been out to get him.
10:26 am
>> he doesn't blame himself for firing comey and opening up an opportunity for a special counsel to be named, the special counsel being robert mueller, the former fbi director. john, the president's tweet follows a rather strange statement coming in from the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. i asked you this question because you're a former state department and pentagon spokesman. here's part of the statement. americans should exercise caution before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous officials, americans should be skeptical about anonymous allegations. what's your reaction when you heard that? >> laura and i were talking about that earlier. i it's a very curious ystatemen. nobody from the justice department is trying to explain it. so you can only guess. my guess is that in the wake of recent stories about what mueller's doing, how he's building his team, what he's looking at, maybe rosenstein felt a little bit of pressure
10:27 am
and wanted to get something out there that look, this isn't coming from us officially. we're not trying to do this. i suspect that mueller i'm guessing is pretty angry about these leaks and none too happy about it and maybe it's a chance to do that. may also be an opportunity to show that they're being apolitical, nonpartisan, not involved in any effort. i don't know. >> laura, the senator dianne feinstein is the ranking member of the senate judiciary committee. she released a blistering statement in part saying this. i'm growing increasingly concerned that the president will attempt to fire not only robert muller, special counsel investigationi, but also rod rosenstein. do you think that's a possibility? >> it's a possibility because rosenstein is an at will employee who serves at the president. if he were to fire rod rosenstein, there are protections in place for robert mueller. namely he can be fired for a
10:28 am
good cause and that's part of the enumerated points in the statute and if he were to be fired and if the good cause would even a little bit questionable, congress can have a full hearing about whether or not it was a good cause. it would be a big distraction. it would be a political mistake. but legally could he do it? yes. to john's point also, remember, imagine if rosenstein, whose m memo was very apparent but one of the reasons he thought comey was insubordinate, imagine if people believed he and his team, even with mueller was actually doing the very same thing in a roundabout way. he's trying to avoid the hypocrisy claims against him and also the impression that the fbi and doj is one big leak. >> i think the question is whether rosenstein will aaccuse
10:29 am
himself. now that these charges of possible obstruction of justice and he had this role and perhaps the firing of james comey because the president trump said he did it on his recommendation, now there's a lot of questions about whether he would recuse himself and he said today, his spokesman said that he will recuse himself if and when it's deemed necessary. >> the president also said that despite all the recommendations, he would have fired comey under any circumstances. he wanted clearly to get rid of him. >> don't forget rosenstein as always testified when he asked if he saw any good cause to fire mueller and he said no. that must be eating at the president's craw also. the president seems to think he has reasons to do it and he is stewing about it and now rod rosenstein, he's brooding about him clearly. even if he recuses himself i'm not sure how that makes the
10:30 am
president happy. >> you're a former federal prosecutor, laura. when the president tweeted i am being investigated for firing the fbi director, that sounded to all of us like he is now confirming that he has been told he is under investigation. and apparently some of his aides are now suggesting well, he was basing that on what he read in "the washington post," not necessarily a formal statement. if someone is being investigated by the fbi, are they told? >> they would know and have different contextual clues to confirm it. >> here's the president of the united states. he was introduced by the vice president. let's listen in.
10:31 am
[ cheers and applause ] >> thank you, everybody. thank you very much. it's a great honor. thank you to my truly great friend, vice president mike pence. he's terrific. and thank you to miami. we love miami. [ cheers and applause ] >> let me start by saying that i'm glad secretary of state rex tillerson and i, along with a very talented team, were able to
10:32 am
get otto warmbier back with his parents. what's happened to him is a truly terrible thing. but at least the ones who love him so much can now take care of him and be with him. also my dear friend steve scalise took a bullet for all of us and because of him and the tremendous pain and suffering he's now enduring, and he's having a hard time, far worse than anybody thought, our country will perhaps become closer, more unified. so important. so we all owe steve a big, big thank you. [ applause ] and let's keep the warmbier
10:33 am
family and the scalise family and all of the victims of the congressional shooting in our hearts and prayers. it was quite a day. our police officers were incredible, weren't they? they did a great job. great job. [ cheers and applause ] >> and let us all pray for a future of peace, unity and safety for all of our people. [ applause ] >> thank you. and for cuba. i am so thrilled to be back here with all of my friends in little havana. [ cheers and applause ] >> i love it. i love this city. and what a big thank you. thank you.
10:34 am
this is an amazing community. the cuban american community. so much love. i saw that immediately. thank you, darling. oh, do i love you too. what you've built here, a vibrant culture, a thriving neighborhood, the spirit of adva adventure is a testament to what a free cuba can be. a free cuba is what we will soon achieve. [ cheers and applause ]
10:35 am
{ crowd chanting usa } >> and i don't even mind that it's 110 degrees up here. this room is packed. you know, it wasn't designed for this. i'd like to thank the fire department. we are delighted to be joined by so many friends and leaders of our great community. i want to express our deep gratitude to a man that's really become a friend of mine. i want to tell you, he's one tough competitor. senator marco rubio. great guy.
10:36 am
[ cheers and applause ] >> he is tough. man. he loves you. and i listen to another friend of mine, congressman mario diaz-balart and i'll tell you i loved what he said and i appreciate it. mario, i appreciated what you said. so much. in fact, i was looking for mario, i wanted to find him. they said he was on stage. i almost dragged him off the stage to thank him, but i'm thanking him anyway. thank you, mario. that was great. i really appreciate it. and i also want to thank my good friend and just a man who was of tremendous support in the state of florida for being with us. governor rick scott.
10:37 am
[ cheers and applause ] >> he's doing a great job. i hope he runs for the senate. i know i'm not supposed to say. that i hope he runs for the senate. rick, are you running? huh? i don't know. marco, let's go. we've got to get him to -- i hope he runs for the senate. we're deeply honored to be joined by amazing veterans of the bay of pigs. these are great people. amazing people. [ cheers and applause ] >> i have wonderful memories from our visit during the campaign. that was some visit. it was right before the
10:38 am
election. i guess it worked, right? boy. florida as a whole in this community that supported us by pre tremendous margins and we appreciate it, but including one of the big honors and that was the honor of getting the bay of pigs award just before the election and it's great to be bother gathered in a place named for a true hero of the cuban people. you know what that means. i was also looking forward to welcoming today two people who are not present. jose daniel ferrera and berta solare were both prevented from leaving cuba for this event. so we acknowledge them.
10:39 am
they're great friends. great help. and although they could not be with us, we are with them 100%. okay? we are with them. finally, i want to recognize everyone in the audience who has their own painful but important story to tell about the true and brutal nature of the castro regime. brutal. we thank the disident and the children of operation peter pan. you know what that means. and all who gather in the cavfe and churches and the streets of this area to speak the truth and to stand for justice. and we want to thank you all for
10:40 am
being a voice for the voiceless. there are people. it's voiceless. but you are making up the difference and we all want to thank you. this group is amazing. they're incredible. you are an incredible group of talented passionate people. thank you. an incredible group of people. many of you witnessed terrible crimes committed in service, a depr depraved ideology. you look at what happened and what communism has done. you knew faces that disappeared, innocen innocents locked in prison for preaching the word of god. you watched the women in white bruised, bloodied and captured on their way from mass. you have heard the chilling
10:41 am
cries of loved ones or the cracks of firing squads piercing through the ocean breeze. not a good sound. among the courageous cubans can us on stage here today are carrie who was imprisoned by the castro regime 15 years ago. [ cheers and applause ] >> she looks awfully good. >> thank you, mr. president.
10:42 am
thank you, mr. vice president. thank you marco rubio. thank you to all the men and cubans who fight. no matter what kind, with the cuban leader, as a person on behalf of the cuban people, the people inside my eyes, my home land, thank you. thank you and we appreciate it. [ cheers and applause ] >> wow. that's pretty good. she didn't know she was going to do that either. i will tell you. thank you very much. [ cheers and applause ] >> one imprisoned for 17 years.
10:43 am
where is he? [ cheers and applause ] >> i love that name. antunez. i love that name. and angel, imprisoned for over 20 years. [ cheers and applause ] thank you. thank you. very brave people. the exiles here today have witnessed communism destroy a nation just as communism has
10:44 am
destroyed every single nation where it has ever been tried. [ cheers and applause ] but we will not be silent in the face of communist oppression any longer. you have seen the truth. you have spoken the truth. and the truth has now called us, this group, called us to action. thank you. last year i promised to be a voice against repression. in our region remember, tremendous repression. and a voice for the freedom of the cuban people. you heard that pledge. you exercised the right you have to vote. you went out and you voted and here i am like i promised. like i promised. [ cheers and applause ]
10:45 am
i promise you -- i keep my promises. sometimes in politics they take a little bit longer, but we get there. we get there. don't we get there? you better believe it, mike. we get there. thank you. thank you. no. we keep our promise. and now that i am your president, america, we'll expose the crimes of the castro regime and stand with the cube bans people in their struggle for freedom, because we know it will better to have freedom, whether
10:46 am
in cuba or venezuela and to have a future where the people of each country can live out their o dreams. [ cheers and applause [ cheers and applause ] >> for nearly six decades the cuban people have suffered. to this day cuba is ruled by the same people who killed tens of th t thousands of their own citizens who sought to spread their represssive and failed ideology throughout our hemisphere and who once tried to host enemy nuclear weapons 90 miles from our shores. the castro regime has shipped
10:47 am
arms to north korea and fueled chaos in venezuela. while imprisoning innocents, it has harbored cop killers, hijackers, and terrorists. it has supported human trafficking, forced labor, and exploitation all around the globe. this is the simple truth of the castro regime. my administration will not hide from it, excuse it or glamorize it. and we will never, ever be blind to it. we know what's going on. and we remember what happened. [ cheers and applause ]
10:48 am
>> on my recent trip overseas, i said the united states is adopting a principle realism rooted in our values, shared interests and common sense. i also said countries should take greater responsibility for creating stability in their own regions. it's hard to think of a policy that makes less sense than the prior administration's terrible and misguided deal with a castro regime. well, you have to say the iran deal was pretty bad also. let's not forget that beauty. they made a deal with the government that spreads violence and instability in the region and nothing they got, think of it, nothing they got. they fought for everything and
10:49 am
we just didn't fight hard enough. but now those days are over. now we hold the cards. we now hold the cards. the previous administrations easing of restrictions on travel and trade does not help the cuban people. they only enrich the cuban regime. [ cheers and applause ] the profits from investment and tourism flow directly from the military. the regime take the money and owns the industry. the outcome of last administrations, executive action has been only more repression and a move to crush the peaceful democratic
10:50 am
movement. therefore, effective immediately, i am canceling the last administration's completely one-sided deal with [ applause ] [cheers and applause ] >> i am announcing today a new policy just as i promised during the campaign. and i will be signing that contract right at that table in just a moment.
10:51 am
our policy will seek a much better deal for the cuban people and for the united states of america. we do not want u.s. dollars to prop up a military monopoly that exploits and abuses the citizens of cuba. our new policy begins with strictly enforcing u.s. law. we will not live sanctions on the cuban regime until all political prisoners are free. freedoms of assembly and expression are respected. all political parties are legalized and free and internationally supervised
10:52 am
elections are scheduled. elections. we will very strongly restrict american dollars and intelligence services that are the core of the castro regime. they will be restricted. we will enforce the ban on tourism. we will enforce the embargo. we will take concrete steps to ensure that investments flow directly to the people so they can open private businesses and begin to build their country's great, great future, a country of great potential. [cheers and applause ]
10:53 am
my action today bypasses the military and the government to help businesses and pursue much better lives. we will keep in place the safeguards to prevent cubans from risking their lives to unlawful travel to the united states. they are in such danger, the way they have to come to this country, and we are going to be safeguarding those people. we have to. we have no choice. we have to. [ applause ] and we will work for the day when a new generation of leaders brings this long reign of suffering to an end. and i do believe that end is
10:54 am
now. we challenged you to come to the table with a new agreement that is in the best interests of both their people and our people and also of cuban americans. to the cuban government, i say, put an end to the abuse of d dissodence. stop jailing innocent people. open yourselves to political and economic freedoms. return the fugitives from american justice, including the return of the cop killer joanne chesamar. and finally, hand over the cuban
10:55 am
military criminals who shot down and killed four brave members of brothers to the rescue who were in unarmed, small, slow civilian planes. those victims included mario de la pena jr. and carlos castro. we're joined by their parents and carlos' sister. where are you? huh? [ applause ]
10:56 am
those are great, great parents who love their children so much. what they've done is just an incredible, incredible thing. what they represent, they did not die in vain. what they represent to everybody and especially to the cuban people. so your children did not die in vain, believe me. [ applause ] so to the castro regime, i repeat, the harboring of criminals and fugitives will end. you have no choice. it will end. any changes to the relationship
10:57 am
between the united states and cuba will depend on real progress toward these and the other goals, many of which i've described when cuba is ready to take concrete steps to these ends, we will be ready, willing and able to come to the table to negotiate that much better deal for cubans, for americans, much better deal. and a deal that's fair. a deal that's fair. and a deal that makes sense. remaining open in the hope that our countries can forge a much stronger and better path. america believes that free, independent and sovereign nations are the best vehicle for human happiness, for health, for
10:58 am
education, for safety, for everything. we all accept that all nations have the right to chart their own paths. and i'm certainly a very big believer in that. so we will respect cuban sovereignty, but we will never turn our bakes on the cuban people. that will not happen over the years, a special sympathy has grown between this land of the free and the beautiful people of that island so close to our shores and so deep he woven into the history of our region. america has rejected the cuban people's oppresses. they have rejected, officially today, they are rejected. and to those people, america has become a source of strength and
10:59 am
our flag, a symbol of hope. i know that is exactly what america is to you and what it represents to you. it represents the same to me. it represents the same to all of us. and that is what it was to a little boy, louise aza. great talent. just 8 years old when fidel castro seized power. his father was the police chief in santiago, cuba. just days after fidel took control, his father was one of 71 cubans executed by firing squad near san juan hill at the hands of the castro regime.
11:00 am
louise buried his grief in his great love of music. he began playing the violin so brilliantly and so beautifully. soon, the regime saw his incredible gift and wanted to use him for propaganda purposes. when he was 12, they organized a national television special and demanded he play a solo for raul castro who, by the way, is leaving now. i wonder why. they sent an official to fetch louise from his home but luis refused to go. and a few days later, castro soldiers barged into his orchestra practice area, guns blazing. they told him to play for the